The employees of a car repair company were felled when they cut back a 19th century tree in their car park – embedded inside was a pair of old trousers.
The old Linden tree, which stands in front of Shelby Tire and Auto Care in Shelbyville, Indiana, has suffered in the past few decades and the branch had to be lopped on safety grounds.
Owner Brent Montgomery said: “About halfway up the tree, there was about an eight-foot hollow patch. I was standing underneath it looking up and I said, ‘Well what’s that?'”
From the ground it looked like a brown bag, but on closer inspection it was actually a pair of trousers – ancient ones.
“It’s not like there’s a knot where someone might have stuck them in there,” Mr Montgomery said. “They grew in it.”
Local historians believe that the trousers, which have a button but no zipper, were probably made in the latter half of the 19th century. The letters ‘HCRAFT’ are visible on the small, rusted button, but the rest is faded. The trousers, which are still embedded in the tree and are described as ‘very coarse’ to the touch, are stained with what looks like white paint.
Mr Montgomery said, “Somebody lost their pants and I don’t know why.”
In an effort to find out, he has called in the director of the local Grover Museum, Candy Miller, to investigate. She said: “The first thing we need to do is research the earliest thing that was on that land and figure out what a painter might have been doing there.”
When Ms Miller finally gets to the bottom of the mystery, Mr Montgomery plans to donate the trousers to the Grover Museum. He was born and raised in Shelbyville and used to pass the tree on his paper round as a boy. He remembers seeing a logo of the tree on the side of the building he now owns, which was built in 1949. It housed a car dealership then too, and its motto was “Trade in the shade of the Old Linden Tree.”
Source: Shelby News